Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An under-appreciated talent

I have a strange talent: an uncanny ability to pick the weirdest movies.  For me this is great because I tend to like weird movies.  I like thinking thinky thoughts and following plot twists and metaphorical imagery.  Still, every once in a while, I stumble upon something that's too Weird even for me. 

For instance, one evening my husband and I were wandering up and down the aisles of movies at our local big-chain-movie-rental-place.  This wasn't in the days before Netflix, but it was before we were cool enough to have it.  So there we were, wandering the back wall, calling out titles to one another to try to find something of interest to us both.  It's quite difficult some days.  This was one of those days.  Finally, I stumbled upon something that seemed to have potential.  At the very least, it had Rachel Weiss (one of my hubby's favorite actresses) and Hugh Jackman (whom I sometimes enjoy in films).  It was called The Fountain, and had the tag line "What if you could live forever?"  We didn't look too much further, decided it was worth a try and took it home.

What followed was a night of raised eyebrows, a night of heads cocked in a curious-spaniel type way, a night of pursed lips and crossed arms.  The movie is Weird.  It's loosely about the Fountain of Youth and sort of about death and spirituality.  It won awards and lots of people seemed to like it, but I'm not sure if I'm one of them.  I might try to watch it again, like I keep trying sushi, but I'm pretty sure I'd have to do it when my husband was out of town, because he might mock me mercilessly if he caught me trying. 

See, that's not the first, nor the last, time that I've picked a Weird movie based on superficial evidence.  It just happens to be the most memorable of them.  I don't think I knew anything about Pan's Labyrinth other than it was in Spanish and had gotten a lot of attention as an innovative and interesting movie.  They didn't mention the creepy eyeballs in hands part, or the fact that you never know what's true, or that you'd spend most of the movie hating everyone in it for some reason or another... maybe they didn't have that reaction, but I sure did.  I think I walked away from that movie appreciating the art and the craft of it, but wishing that I could have my two hours back to avoid the nightmares that followed.  Another Weird movie, picked by me.

Last night, we watched Shutter Island, which I really enjoyed.  I like twisty-turny stories and unreliable narrators.  I don't think my husband was pleased.  He kept giving me that look.  You know the one.  The "oh, so this is what you picked" look.  The "Weird, and all your fault" look.  The "we could be watching something with explosions and a straightforward good vs. evil plot" look.  Next time we watch a movie, I'll let him pick, just to keep our marital harmony in balance.  I don't think he'd take it too well if I suggested Memento, even if it is one of my favorites...

3 comments:

Sandmansister said...

Yet another reason I love you more than your whole face - Memento is also one of my all time favorites, and the whole time I'm reading this post, I'm thinking, "Gee, I wonder if Bean likes Memento."

Plus, I always said that while Pan's Labyrinth had amazing visuals, and it was a compelling story, I'm still not sure if I actually LIKED it or not.

So... yeah.

Sandmansister said...

P.S. As much as I love esoterics and Zen (not to mention my unholy adoration for Mr. Jackman), The Fountain pretty much left me all, like, "Bzuh?!?"

LE Bean said...

Memento is amazing. My roommate had the DVD special feature bonus thingy, and it was like a psych test, and the menus were all crazy, and if you hit the right magical sequence of buttons, you could watch the movie in chronilogical order which was TOTALLY MESSED UP! Your loyalties reversed completely. You hated the folks you were cheering for, and loved the ones you despised before... it was amazing! AMAZING! That film is just incredible...

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